My daughter and I went to Target to buy a birthday present for the kid next door. Sure, you can draw a hard line and say, “I’m sorry, but we’re not doing presents this (time period). I’m sure you can understand the need to conserve resources and not fall victim to the corporate machine that dictates what me must buy…” etc. Is it worth the effort?
So she bought him a set of toy trucks for $6.99 plus tax. I know, it’s not the amount, it’s the thought that counts. She could have made something for him, yada yada. And it was her money, so technically, I was in the clear to that point. (She gets an allowance, which I suppose some might not consider to be a “necessity,” but she’s been getting one for awhile and I wonder how fair or practical it is to make her suffer for my experiment.)
After the shopping, we had to deal with lunch. Yes, we could have had lunch at home, but we have a cleaning lady come in once every two weeks and we don’t like to be underfoot when she’s around. I know, I know: a cleaning lady is not a necessity. My wife would disagree, so I almost consider it along the lines of belonging to a health club (another non-essential, except that it has a healthful effect, especially mentally, so it stays. Easy to hedge, isn’t it?).